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A Different Kind of Coffee Date


Remember life before coffee dates? It's kind of like life before email and cell phones. I can remember it, but wouldn't want to go back there. As the number of killer coffee shops in the Twin Cities has grown, so has my appreciation for great coffee. When I saw a Facebook post last week that Dogwood Coffee has coffee cuppings on Fridays at 10 a.m. in its new northeast Minneapolis roastery, I went to check it out.

A cupping is like the coffee version of a wine tasting. Dogwood staff does this regularly to monitor quality and sample new beans. Unlike most shops, they open cuppings to the public for the rest of us to learn where our coffee comes from, how it's made, and more. Our small group sipped coffee as one of the owners, Dan, showed us around and answered questions before we cupped four different beans. To begin, Dan and his co-owner, Greg, ground the beans. We first sniffed them dry, then again in hot water. For the tasting, a slurp followed by a spit gives maximum tastebud exposure. Coughing and gagging were praised as signs we were doing it right, not something to be embarrassed about. Greg and Dan urged us to try things more than once. They listened as we stumbled through descriptions of what we tasted ("a city in France," "a hint of cardamom," and "bright") then shared roasting notes from staff to compare. We learned about different kinds of beans, wet vs. dry processing, and something called "the potato problem" that can occur in beans from certain countries in Africa. As a parting gift, we each got a bag of beans for the road.

If you want to learn more about coffee, or are looking for a different sort of coffee-date with friends, visit Dogwood for a cupping on Friday mornings in Northeast or Thursday nights at Calhoun Square. Education and caffeination—two great things that go great together.

Dogwood Coffee Roastery
1209 Tyler St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Cuppings Friday at 10 a.m.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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